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Congressman Joaquin Castro

Representing the 20th District of Texas

Castro, Meadows Bipartisan Election Security Bill Passes House, Heads to Senate

Sep 6, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Intelligence, and Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11), a member of the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, Transportation and Infrastructure and Foreign Affairs, welcomed the unanimous passage of their bipartisan measure, the Global Electoral Exchange Act (H.R. 5274). This legislation would authorize the Secretary of State to administer exchange programs for electoral authorities between the United States and overseas partners to promote best practices and strengthen electoral institutions and democracies abroad.

“As contested elections in Honduras, Kenya, Guinea, and other countries have shown, untrustworthy vote counting and weak electoral institutions led to deadly postelection violence and questionable electoral results. It’s critical the United States assist fragile democracies design and preserve strong electoral mechanism as they embark on the path towards a more inclusive society based on the principles of democracy,” said Congressman Castro. “I welcome the passage of the Global Electoral Exchange Act in the House of Representatives and urge our colleagues in the Senate to help get this bill to the President’s desk. Sharing best practices will inevitably better our election systems at home and abroad, strengthen democracies around the world and advance bipartisan U.S. national interests around.”

“Fair, trustworthy, and accountable elections are critical to defending democracy among our international partners and are fundamental to who we are as a nation. American expertise can bolster good governance and freedom in the world’s new democracies, making the world safer for Americans and helping to prevent the rampant violence that all too often follows poorly-run, unfree elections,” said Congressman Meadows. “Anything we as Americans can do to promote healthy and secure election practices in other countries is a welcome development. I appreciate the support of my colleagues and I want to particularly thank my colleague, Rep. Castro of Texas, for his leadership.”

Background:

The Global Electoral Exchange Act authorizes the Secretary of State to conduct international exchanges of election administrators and officials, including government officials, polling workers, civil society representatives, members of the judiciary, and others who participate in the organization and administration of an election. These exchanges would be strictly educational, meant to promote best practices and strengthen electoral institutions, and would not include any observation mission as conducted by the OSCE or United Nations.

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